Following the introduction of a proactive environmental initiative in 2002, Fabege has successfully reduced its energy usage by 30 per cent (compared with the EU target of a 20 per cent energy-efficiency enhancement by 2020). New technology for environmentally efficient heating/cooling is already part of Fabege’s focus on reducing its CO2 emissions.
Table 1. Fabege’s results in the form of reduced CO2 emissions, 2002-2008
Systematic energy optimisation, changing from oil to district heating and from the company’s own cooling systems to district cooling with improved environmental performance, switching to electricity certified in accordance with the *Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) system and, to a certain extent, a changed property portfolio. As a result of the work performed in these areas in recent years, Fabege has reported a highly positive trend and the company’s CO2 emissions have been reduced from 39,447 tonnes in 2002 to 5,989 tonnes in 2008. To learn more about EPD electricity, visit www.vattenfall.se.
Successful energy initiatives
Since the early 2000s, Fabege’s goal has been to maintain overall control of the energy consumption and environmental impact of its entire property portfolio through specially assigned employees known as energy controllers. This has enabled the company to coordinate and expand its expertise in negotiating favourable contracts with energy suppliers. Mikael Wester has been involved in establishing these operations since their introduction, while Jonas Markström joined the process in 2007 – and it certainly did not take long before progress was achieved. Since 2003, Fabege has reduced its property portfolio’s energy consumption by 5 per cent annually compared with the preceding year, and the reduction in 2008 was a full 8 per cent.
The foundation of Fabege’s successful energy efforts is its systematic, monthly energy reviews. The operational personnel at the company’s properties are a key component in this work and must be involved continuously in its energy-enhancement initiatives.
“With regard to energy savings, we must always be aware that there is potential for measures to be implemented in all areas. The message that unites all of Fabege’s energy work can be summarised as ‘Switch off and close!’ This applies to needs adjustments, meaning eliminating all unnecessary consumption when no one is there. However, we always base our efforts on the concept of energy optimisation while retaining comfort,” explains Jonas Markström, energy controller at Fabege. Given the company’s continuous focus on new energy initiatives, Jonas is pleased to announce that district cooling has reduced the electricity requirement at Stockholm’s Wenner-Gren Centre. Instead of using electrically driven cooling systems to cool the air, cool water with a temperature of six degrees Celsius is fed into the property and a heat exchange process is used to efficiently achieve a cooler air temperature through district cooling.
The Wenner-Gren Centre is an outstanding feature of Fabege’s property portfolio and an excellent example of the company’s ambition to reduce its environmental impact. The air in this classic Stockholm landmark is now cooled using cold water from Värtan Bay, which passes through a district cooling connection, resulting in increased comfort and reduced electricity consumption.
Facts: Today, most countries agree that measures have to be taken to deal with the increasing CO2 emissions that could threaten coming generations. Since the introduction of more thorough measurements in 1960, the CO2 level in the atmosphere has increased from approximately 320 parts per million to today’s 394 parts per million. Drilling samples obtained from ice in the Antarctic show that we have never before reached such high CO2 levels.
But how can this trend be broken? The EU believes that a minimum emissions reduction of 20 per cent by 2020 will be required to put an end to this negative spiral. Many players in the industrial sector, for example, argue that such an ambitious target cannot be achieved without costly investments. Fabege is proving them wrong.